The American Legion is the voice of nearly 2 million U.S. military veterans and service members. A resolution–based organization, The American Legion’s positions represent the views of its members, based on four pillars of service: Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation, National Security, Americanism, and Children & Youth.
Address Toxic Exposure & Burn Pits
A disturbingly high percentage of post-9/11 veterans have been exposed to airborne toxic hazards, often the result of personal proximity to burn pits for extended times during service. The American Legion has fought for service-connected disability benefits for conditions linked to toxic exposures for decades and will continue to do so for this generation. The American Legion urges Congress to reintroduce and pass the Toxic Exposure in the American Military (TEAM) Act of 2020 and supports further studies into conditions directly related to contaminants in order to establish a complete list of presumptive diseases caused by toxic exposure during service.
Resolution No. 118, 2016
Improve Health Care for Women Veterans
VA has an obligation to develop and expand health-care services for women, the fastest-growing demographic in the veteran community. A high percentage of women veterans who are not enrolled in VA health care say lack of gender-specific services and lack of awareness about VA benefits are primary reasons. The American Legion urges Congress to diligently oversee implementation of recently passed VA pilot programs, research initiatives, and policy revisions to address this. Additionally, The American Legion encourages expansion of newborn care and gender-specific services at VA .
Resolution No. 37, 2016
Accessibility is often a barrier for veterans and caregivers when pursuing health services from VA. They should have consistent, quality access to care, regardless of location or availability of broadband networks. To address this, The American Legion has worked with VA to introduce a pilot program that provides telehealth sites in American Legion posts to serve rural areas, known as Project ATLAS. The American Legion urges Congress to pass legislation that expands broadband capabilities and services for veterans in remote areas to better meet their needs.
Resolution No. 75, 2017
Address the Forever War
Nearly two decades after 9/11, U.S. troops continue to wage war in Iraq, Afghanistan and other corners of the world, under the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMF). However, the global security environment the United States faces is no longer the same, with the rise of great-power competition and other threats. Too often, the use of military force, as opposed to diplomacy, is considered the primary instrument of national power. The American Legion urges the renewal of a proper constitutional balance to U.S. foreign policy decision-making by urging Congress to renew its war- making oversight role beginning with repealing or replacing the outdated post-9/11 AUMFs and by properly resourcing civilian tools of diplomacy.
Resolution No. 22, 2020
Citizenship for Honorable Service
Many veteran immigrants say they have been deported after discharge because they failed to acquire U.S. citizenship while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. The American Legion supports measures to ensure the process of naturalization through military service is completed prior to discharge, to include reinstitution of the USCIS Naturalization at Basic Training Initiative, training for military recruiters and commands about the naturalization process, and the reopening all USCIS field offices abroad to serve servicemembers stationed overseas.
Resolution No. 15, 2018
Pay the Coast Guard
U.S. Coast Guard personnel carry out daily missions vital to national security, but they serve in the only military branch forced to work without pay during government shutdowns, due to their status under the Department of Homeland Security. The repeated and all too common threat of government shutdowns brings severe hardship on Coast Guard men, women and families. The American Legion urges Congress to reintroduce and pass the Pay Our Coast Guard Parity Act, which would guarantee that Coast Guard personnel are paid without delay, even in the case of a government shutdown.
Resolution No. 23, 2016
Close the 90/10 Loophole
Proprietary schools offer students valuable education options, but some bad actors use a loophole in the 90-10 rule to evade a cap on federal financial aid by aggressively targeting veterans, service members, families and survivors for their education benefits. The American Legion is committed to ensuring that veterans and their families receive the highest quality of education when using the GI Bill and encourages legislation and federal action to provide higher quality and student outcomes for institutions approved for use of VA education benefits by adding Department of Defense and VA funds to the Title IV revenue sources calculation under the Higher Education Act.
Resolution No. 15, 2019
Military Awards for Minority Veterans
The American Legion urges Congress to pass legislation lifting statutes of limitations and other obstacles that may impede proper investigation and expand the review of minority veterans from all wars and conflicts whose military records and official descriptions of combat actions support consideration for the Medal of Honor and other military citations or medals.
Resolution No. 17, 2020
Studies show that peer support is mutually beneficial for people who are experiencing transitions, mental health concerns and for those who wish to give back to their communities. The American Legion has its own peer-support program known as the “Buddy Check” and urges Congress to pass legislation requiring VA to implement a similar program. The American Legion also encourages legislation to establish a peer-support program that would offer grants to place peer-support specialists in local posts of veterans service organizations.
Resolution No. 364, 2016
Protect the American Flag
The American Legion urges Congress to approve an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would allow Congress to prohibit the physical desecration of the U.S. flag. Additionally, The American Legion urges Congress to pass the Flag Code Modernization Act of 2021 to amend the U.S. Flag Code to codify multiple common patriotic customs and practices as described in The American Legion Resolution No. 19: Flag Code Amendment.
Resolution No. 19, 2016
Global War on Terrorism Memorial
The Global War on Terrorism is the longest war in U.S. history; more than 2.8 million American service members have been deployed abroad. After tens of thousands of casualties and thousands of deaths, it is only fitting that we honor the sacrifices of service members and their families with a Global War on Terrorism Memorial in a place of prominence at our nation’s capital. The American Legion believes this memorial belongs on the National Mall and urges Congress to pass the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Location Act.
Resolution No. 16, 2017
To download a PDF of the The American Legion Legislative Agenda for the 117th Congress brochure click here.